fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Lungisa Fuzile" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:50:34 -0700
Subject: R e p l y
I am conscious that this email might not be a proper manner of approach to foster a relationship of trust but because of the
circumstances and urgency surrounding this venture, I decided to reach you via this medium
to join me put claims on this fund before it is seized or confiscated by the authorities.
I got your contact information in the public records while searching for a similar name to
my late associate,whom i was his accounts officer, a Business Magnate and contractor that lived in Spain for Nineteen
years but died with his family during the TSUNAMI in INDONESIA and BALI that occurred in
December 2004. Do not be amazed by this letter, I am contacting you based on trust and
confidentiality attached to this transaction.
the good news is that this transaction is 100% risk free as I have worked all out to
complete the operation effectively. Once this fund is released to you, it will be shared
in the ratio of 40% for you, and 60% for me as our benefit which is ($7 . 4 Mi llion for
you) and ($1 1.04 Mill ion for me). Please endeavor to get back to me via reply mail
whether you are willing to collaborate with me or not so that I may further my search for
I wait for your prompt reply.